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Things To Do With Kids in Leicester

Tuesday 09 April 2024

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Leicester with the Kids

Home of DNA fingerprinting, the largest Diwali festival outside of India and Richard III’s burial site, Leicester makes for a particularly unique and intriguing day out. Located at the heart of England, the city is both a geographical centre and a hub for arts, culture, sports, and heritage. Families looking for an enjoyable and educational adventure will find just this and more in the East Midland’s biggest city. Join CrossCountry as we investigate some of the very best things to do in Leicester with kids.  

Direct CrossCountry routes to Leicester

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Goldhill Adventure Playground

Goldhill Adventure Playground is not just any old playground. For forty-five years, the park has been a haven for curious kids. Here, children are not just encouraged to appreciate nature but to revel in it, unafraid of muddy knees or the occasional scrape. The park’s huge timber-framed adventure playground promises an afternoon of boundless imagination and discovery. Kids are encouraged to express themselves creatively, with activities like jewellery making and face painting, as well as lots of opportunities to dance and play.

Goldhill Adventure Playground is entirely guided by the voices and choices of the children who play there. This means that any changes and developments that take place are done with young perspectives in mind.
What’s more, the park has multiple ongoing projects to further give back to the community. For example, they provide one-to-one support for young people with learning and behavioural difficulties, working to develop their confidence and self-esteem. They also run a food bank and community shop to help families struggling financially. 

Goldhill Adventure Playground is a fantastic destination for families seeking thrills and enrichment. Secure a spot by registering on their website; we recommend paying attention to opening times to avoid disappointment. Plus, reaching the playground from Leicester station is simple with several bus services that will take you there in around thirty minutes. 

The National Space Centre 

Leicester’s award-winning Space Centre is one of our favourite museums in the UK. Kids will have stars, and maybe some asteroids, in their eyes exploring the six fascinating interactive exhibitions. Starting at our very own planet Earth and rocketing to the far reaches of the universe, families can learn all about the Big Bang, and our Solar System while uncovering the weird and wonderful oddities found across decades of space exploration. 
Our highlight is the Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium, the largest planetarium dome in the UK. Visitors will be enchanted as they embark on a 360-degree journey through the night sky and beyond. The dome stages various shows throughout the year, often narrated by big names like Andy Serkis and David Tennant. After travelling the universe, there’s one last stop, the forty-two-metre-high Rocket Tower with expansive views of the city.
Because everyone loves Space, the National Space Centre is accessible to all. With dedicated sensory sessions, those with visual impairments or SEN/SEND can enjoy a quiet and engaging experience that delves into the mysteries of space, through touch, sound, and smell. Yes, Space smells!
To reach the Space Centre, head to Haymarket bus station, a fifteen-minute walk from the station, and grab the number fifty-four bus. You’ll be landing in T-minus thirty minutes.

Abbey Park

Situated along the banks of the River Soar, Abbey Park is an ode to the UK’s balmy months: family picnics, leisurely afternoons on the boating lake and friendly games of tennis and rounders. There’s a Pet Corner, home to all kinds of creatures, from guinea pigs to pygmy goats to exotic birds. As well as a miniature railway for budding train spotters, which offers rides on weekends and includes a platform, station building and a workshop.

For the historical enthusiast, the ruins of Leicester Abbey can be found dotted across the park. Visitors can wander among the ancient twelfth-century cloisters and archways, letting imagination reveal the abbey’s former heyday. Once a grand and incredibly wealthy religious house, Leicester Abbey would have seen the likes of Edward III, Richard II, and Richard III crossing its halls.

From Leicester station, a walk to Abbey Park takes roughly thirty minutes and if little legs won’t make it, there are regular bus services too.

A baby goat (kid) being petted.

Treetop Golf

At Treetop Golf , families can adventure through remote rainforests and ancient temples with their golf clubs. Located conveniently in the city centre, Treetop Golf offers two eighteen-hole courses, suitable for all ages. Kids will be delighted at the charming characters that line the course, the colourful lights, and the totally immersive space. There’s also the opportunity to win a free game of golf with a bonus nineteenth hole.

Treetop Golf runs quiet sessions once a month, where all music and strobe lighting are turned off, making for a calmer, more tranquil game. The courses are also manual-wheelchair and pushchair friendly to ensure accessibility.

Once the game is finished, grab a drink and a bite to eat at the Pizza Cabana or the Jungle Buzz Café. They offer all kinds of delicious treats for hungry little ones, like strawberry milkshakes topped with whipped cream and a cherry, gooey brownies, and special wonky pizzas.

Leicester Museum & Art Gallery

There’s plenty to do at Leicester Museum & Art Gallery and it’s all free. The museum boasts a wide-ranging collection of displays spanning German Expressionism, Picasso, Egyptian artefacts, and dinosaur fossils.

The museum also welcomes a vast array of temporary exhibitions, featuring works from the collections, touring exhibitions from national museums and a programme of contemporary art and craft displays. So, check the website before you go to see what’s on!

From Leicester station, Leicester Museum and Art Gallery is short five-minute walk away.

How to get to Leicester by Train

As a central hub in the UK, Leicester is incredibly well connected. If you’re travelling for a day trip with the kids, there are direct CrossCountry trains available from locations such as Birmingham New Street, Cambridge station, and Peterborough station.

If you’re planning to visit Leicester with the kids, don’t forget to book an Advance ticket via our website or the CrossCountry app. If you need more information, you can contact us here.

Written by Seb

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